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Make money via online rebate sites while shopping for Black Friday deals

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal | Nov. 29, 2013
Instead of waiting outside your local Best Buy on Black Friday, why not stay home and shop online? You can skip the crowds, avoid aching feet, and duck the drama of parking the car at the mall. Online shoppers also have a secret weapon: Online rebate sites.

"FatWallet is for people who are more interested in saving money, and who are willing to do a little work," says Brent Shelton, PR director at FatWallet. "We have a huge online community of people who share tips on sales, deals, and how to stack coupons." Because FatWallet is a little more life-hack-y, Shelton explains, you'll find more tech-oriented deals on the site. FatWallet's partnered sites include Acer, Adorama, Apple, Best Buy, and Newegg.

Using FatWallet is similar to Ebates--just sign up for a free FatWallet account, and then click through the website before you make any purchases at qualifying sites. You can also participate in the online forums, browse coupons, and find nearby deals from sites such as Groupon, LivingSocial, and Amazon Local.

For Black Friday, FatWallet has a dedicated Black Friday Deal Finder app, which should make shopping and comparing easier if you happen to be in a physical store. The app does offer some cashback capabilities, but Shelton warns that the best way to ensure you'll get cash back is to go through FatWallet's website.


Swagbucks is a little different from Ebates and FatWallet. While those sites are focused on shopping--and subsequently earning cash back--Swagbucks offers multiple ways to earn "SwagBucks," the website's internal currency.

Don't get me wrong--Swagbucks does have a robust online shop-and-earn section, which features stores such as Amazon, Bloomingdale's, Kohl's, and Target. But there are also tons of other ways to earn SwagBucks, which you can trade in for gift cards and cash (one SwagBuck is approximately one cent). Other ways to earn include searching through the Swagbucks search engine (perfect for looking for Black Friday deals), answering surveys and polls, playing games, watching videos, and signing up for sponsored offers.

To get started with Swagbucks, sign up for a free account and start earning. You'll earn at least one SwagBuck just for logging in every day, and more if you use the Swagbucks toolbaror answer the site's daily poll.

Like the other online rebates sites, earning money from Swagbucks' shop-and-earn program requires that you click through its website to a qualifying retailer. When you have enough SwagBucks, you can trade them in for a gift card, PayPal payment, or Swagbucks swag. You can also earn SwagBucks offline when you shop with the company's credit card, which gives you 1.25 SwagBucks on every purchase.

For Black Friday, Swagbucks will offer triple SwagBucks on all of its participating shop-and-earn stores. According to Swagbucks COO and co-founder Scott Dudelson, the company will also give away free SwagBucks to its members on Black Friday via various social-media channels. In other words, just hanging around Swagbucks' website or its Facebook page could get you some extra cash.


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